It is interesting to survey small business owners to find out what they think of the current business environment. With any survey, it is easy to ask what things small businesses are most optimistic about and what things scare them the most. It turns out that in the latter category, small businesses are most scared about three things: the cost of health insurance, government regulation, and taxes.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) conducts an annual survey among its members to determine the current state of business in America. In their most recent survey, they queried members regarding 75 well-known business issues. Members were invited to rank each one on a scale of 1 (critical problem) to 7 (not a problem). Based on the results, the NFIB says that:
- the cost of health insurance is a critical problem for most businesses; and
- businesses are equally concerned about burdensome government regulations and the complexity and constantly changing nature of tax laws.
What does all this mean to you, as a small business owner? It means you need to take the steps necessary to make sure your business is compliant with all regulations involving health insurance, taxes, and other aspects of your business. Outsourcing your payroll to an online service provider is a good first step.
ACA Compliance Is Now Required
The cost of health insurance is eating up a larger portion of the company budget than ever before. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most companies now do not have a choice about providing health insurance. Compliance with the ACA is mandatory.
Unfortunately, compliance is also complicated. So many companies were unable to comply for the 2015/2016 tax year that the IRS had to publicly acknowledge they would not aggressively enforce the law for the time being. They are not likely to be so generous in 2017. Companies having trouble with ACA compliance have one of two choices: figure it out sooner rather than later, or outsource payroll and benefits packages to a third-party partner.
Constantly Changing Tax Environments
Even more complicated than ACA compliance is keeping up with evolving tax environments. It seems as if every year the federal government implements at least a handful of changes to income tax and Social Security and Medicare. States and local municipalities also implement their own changes year-to-year, though usually to a lesser degree.
The long and short of it is that companies should stay abreast of changes in tax laws so as not to be found in violation. This is no simple task. It requires payroll employees to continually work with accountants to figure out how changes in the law affect payroll processing. And it is a time-consuming endeavor that does not seem to get any better.
Once again, the solution is to outsource payroll to a third-party provider. Payroll companies are experts in payroll processing and tax laws. They maintain their own staff of tax professionals whose sole purpose is to make sure clients remain compliant always.
The NFIB data clearly shows that the cost of health insurance, government regulations, and taxes are the three things that scare small business owners the most. An online payroll provider may not be able to help with regulations outside of the scope of their expertise, but they can certainly be a big help in ACA and tax compliance. One of the best things a small business can do for itself these days is to outsource payroll to professionals. They are the most capable of handling payroll efficiently and in full compliance.